Scottsdale, Ariz. (September 11, 2015) – On September 11, a group of wounded service members gathered outside their hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a brief ceremony commemorating the 14th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. For many of those in attendance, this date stands as more than just a date of a national tragedy, but also as the date that they felt called to serve their country. These wounded service members came together as part of the peer mentor training offered by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
Through the sacrifices made in service to their country after 9/11, these service members have dealt with the visible and invisible wounds of war and have worked to overcome these obstacles and find their mission and purpose after service. Now, as they continue their journey to recovery, these veterans help their brothers and sisters in arms who are struggling with some of the same challenges that they have faced.
The Peer Support program, offered by WWP, provides wounded veterans and their caregivers with training that empowers them to serve as peer mentors for their fellow veterans and caregivers. Peer mentors are further along in their recovery process and are taught to use their experiences to encourage the wounded service members they are mentoring as they strive forward in their recovery.
“It is important to have someone there to lean on who understands what you have been through and what you are going through,” says Nicky Norwood, WWP Alumni and peer mentor. “That’s what the Peer Support program is all about.”
During this multi-day training, peer mentors are introduced to techniques designed to address the issues that their mentees may be experiencing. The peer mentors take part in role-playing exercises and discussions addressing everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression to traumatic brain injury.
The main goal of peer mentor training is for each mentor to understand and enact the WWP mission: to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
Through the Peer Support program, WWP works toward its vision of fostering the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history. The ultimate goal of the Peer Support program is for every wounded service member being mentored to eventually mentor another service member, thus embodying the WWP logo of one warrior carrying another. By becoming a peer mentor, wounded service members who once were the warrior being carried have the opportunity to become the warrior who carries others.